Simplr Consumer Survey Reveals Outsized Role of Customer Service in Online Holiday Shopping Plans

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The global pandemic is continuing to reshape the retail sector, fueling $189B* in anticipated online holiday sales and forcing brands to wage a virtual battle for customer loyalty. Retailers that enter 2021 with a tailwind will be those that elevate their customer service, according to a survey of 750 consumers conducted in October 2020 by Simplr, in which 90 percent of consumers who shop online said exceptional customer service is important when choosing where to shop. That loyalty translates into revenue, as six in 10 consumers said they will give a retailer more business if it provides exceptional customer service.

Simplr logo (PRNewsfoto/Simplr)

Almost half (47 percent) of consumers surveyed have not made a purchase due to poor customer service

Retailers cannot risk an online letdown, given that consumers surveyed estimate a 60 percent increase in their online holiday shopping from last year. 

“If CX leaders think they’re ready for the digital stampede, they should know that more than half of consumers we surveyed don’t share that optimism,” said Daniel Rodriguez, CMO of Simplr, a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience platform. 

Fifty-five percent of consumers do not believe, or are unsure, that their favorite online retailers can handle the volume of customer service inquiries this holiday season. Perhaps to combat that concern, 82 percent expect to shop online at stores they know and trust.

The NOW Customer wants fast, around the clock, responses to their inquiries 

Six in 10 consumers said their customer service expectations are set by the standards of the best retailers. When asked what elements are key to exceptional customer service, consumers said:

  • Fast response time: 60 percent
  • 24/7 customer service: 41 percent
  • Connecting via live chat or email: 37 percent
  • Online chat with a person 24/7: 33 percent
  • Complex questions handled professionally, with empathy and respect: 30 percent 

“The expectation from consumers of immediate responses delivered anytime, across multiple channels, in an efficient yet empathic manner defines what Simpr calls the NOW Customer,” said Rodriguez. 

The unseen role of reviews when the NOW Customer is neglected

One-third of consumers surveyed said they have experienced being ignored or “left hanging” by a retailer when they have had a request or inquiry. That neglect does not go unnoticed by consumers, as half said they are “extremely or very likely” to tell a friend and/or post on social media channels about the negative experience; that rises to 55 percent among frequent shoppers and 63 percent among those aged 21-34. 

Many retailers are kept in the dark about consumers’ negative experiences with their brand, as 45 percent of consumers said they do not want to leave negative reviews. While brands might see a lack of negative reviews as an indicator of customer service success, consumers’ reasons for not leaving a negative review may ultimately damage a brand. When asked why they do not leave negative reviews, surveyed consumers said:

  • I just want to move on from that retailer: 54 percent
  • I can’t
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Woolworths customer spots a ‘game changing’ feature on shopping trolleys

Customer spots a ‘game changing’ feature on Woolworths shopping trolleys – and it will make your grocery trips easier

  • Customer spots a ‘game changing’ feature on shopping trolleys at Woolworths 
  • The supermarket chain has rolled out trolleys fitted with mobile phone holders
  • The unique shopping trolleys are only available at 22 stores around Australia
  • It’s the chain’s Scan&Go technology to help shoppers scan products with phone

A customer has spotted a ‘game changing’ feature on shopping trolleys at Woolworths that will sure make grocery trips easier.

The chain has rolled out trolleys fitted with mobile phone holders at more than 20 supermarket stores around Australia.

The feature allows customers to check off their shopping list without having to juggle grocery items and their device at the same time.

Customers have discovered shopping trolleys fitted with mobile phone holders (pictured) to make grocery trips easier

Customers have discovered shopping trolleys fitted with mobile phone holders (pictured) to make grocery trips easier

‘At Woolworths, we’re always looking at ways to bring new and convenient shopping experiences to our customers,’ a Woolworths spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

‘The mobile phone holders were introduced in stores with Scan&Go technology to help customers easily scan products with their smartphone as they walked through the store and paid through the Woolworths App.

‘We’re delighted to hear the positive feedback from customers.’

The trolleys fitted with phone holders were first trialled as part of its Scan&Go app at its Double Bay store in Sydney in 2018.

Dozens of shoppers described the feature as ‘game changing’ while others said it would make shopping faster and easier when doing their grocery. 

The feature allows customers to check off their shopping list without having to juggle grocery items and their device at the same time (file image)

The feature allows customers to check off their shopping list without having to juggle grocery items and their device at the same time (file image)

Earlier this year, a shopper discovered you can slot a small trolley into the spot where you would place a basket in Woolworths (pictured)

Earlier this year, a shopper discovered you can slot a small trolley into the spot where you would place a basket in Woolworths (pictured)

In November last year, a customer revealed she spotted the smartphone holder fitted on every trolley at her local Melbourne store. 

‘You would say this is not a technological innovation. Well, Woolworths has recognised people are carrying mobile phones everywhere they go,’ she wrote.

‘Hence, they are making it more convenient and safer for its customers to shop and chat on the phone at the same time.’

Earlier this year, a customer realised you can push smaller trolleys against the side of the self-serve kiosk where shoppers usually place their baskets.

Small trolleys fit perfectly so you can unload your shopping through the checkout with ease. 

‘Am I the only one who just figured this out,’ Ebony posted on TikTok, alongside a video of her pushing her small trolley against the side of the self-serve kiosk. 

‘I just learnt that the small trolley fits at Woolies self serve!’ 

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